Francesco Fontana

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Francesco Fontana
Not to be confused with Francesco Fontana, archbishop of Messina and Milan, who died in 1308.

Francesco Fontana (1580–c. 1656) was an Italian lawyer (University of Naples[1] ) and an astronomer.

He created woodcuts showing the Moon and the planets as he saw them through a self-constructed telescope. In 1646 he published most of them in the book Novae coelestium terrestriumq[ue] rerum observationes, et fortasse hactenus non vulgatae. In 1645, he claimed to have observed a satellite of Venus (Paul Stroobant demonstrated in 1887 that all similar observations were not related to a putative satellite of Venus).

The lunar crater Fontana and the crater Fontana on Mars are named in his honor.

Note: See Donato Creti for paintings of planets from the next century.


  1. ^ Hockey, Thomas (2009). The Biographical Encyclopedia of Astronomers. Springer Publishing. ISBN 978-0-387-31022-0. Retrieved August 22, 2012. 

External links[edit]

Media related to Francesco Fontana at Wikimedia Commons